Life is full of choices, and mine for the past several years, as I have been told by friends, has been like the first line of “Learn to Be Still” by the Eagles: It’s just another day in paradise. There is no doubt that living in Mallorca is pretty special. But when I moved to La Antigua, I knew that I had found a very, very special home. I can remember saying to friends and family that I could see no possible reason to ever leave. But as I am sure we all know by now, the only phrase that makes sense in our lives is, ‘never say never.’ I am, with a sense of trepidation, moving from my village house.
I have some friends whom I have known since shortly after arriving in Mallorca that have a home overlooking the sea in Bendinat. From the first time I saw their property, I realised that if by some chance I could live there, it could cause me to re-think my choice of places to live. No, this doesn’t mean I don’t love La Antigua as much as I did when I moved in. Actually, I am so very fortunate to have lived there and don't plan on selling it, just renting out on a long-term basis. I have been so very fortunate to have shared where I live with very special friends and family. But life is all about exploring, and as I read on a brochure many years ago, 'you can never discover new lands if you are afraid to lose sight of the shore.' So when the property in Bendinat came on the market, I have decided to see if I could find as much happiness there as I have found in the village.
Most certainly, things will be vastly different living at Sol y Mar (the name of the new house). I am sure I will miss my almost daily encounters with the villagers whom I have come to know and talk with. I will miss my semi-regular bolIocking by the man who monitors Parc Verd when I manage to put some recyclables in the wrong container. I will also miss walking to Balthazar and Guillem’s market and my ‘interesting’ conversations with them. Whilst we always talk about the village, the weather, what is going on in the world, I have always been convinced that after I leave their market, they stand there and wonder about my Spanish grammar; even if whilst we are talking, they do understand me and I understand them. Living in the village has been wonderful for me, and it will be hard to leave.
But Sol y Mar is very special too. Quite a bit smaller than La Antigua (but still with a spare bedroom for guests for those of you are inclined to visit), what Sol y Mar has that La Antigua will never have is the fact that it is on the sea. I think what sent me over the decision-making edge was my recent voyage from Lisbon to Panama. It has been several years since I have been able to be on a boat since my little GBS episode, and I agreed to the voyage , but with a bit of fear that my GBS would play up on me. And whilst the trip was very special from the standpoint of being able to spend a couple of weeks with post-graduate students who were so eager to learn, what really made the voyage special was the fact that I was once again on the water. This may not make sense to those of you who have never lived onboard a boat, but there is an incredible feeling of looking out across the sea at the horizon, and for as far as you can see, all there is more horizon.
When I began writing these letters, I spoke about the fact that I will never probably completely realise my vision, but 'being there' isn’t really that important.
It is like the horizon – regardless of how much you try to reach the horizon, it is always out there, always out of reach, always a constant in one’s life. My move to Sol y Mar won’t get me any closer to the horizon…but I certainly will be able to see it more clearly. And that has to be a good thing.
Sol y Mar
the sitting room
one of the three terraces
what it is all about
sunrise at Sol y Mar
copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, James B. Rieley